June 28th, 2019
When the time comes to give your website a refresh, bringing it back to life with a modern style and new technology running it, it can be a really exciting time. You’ll likely want to get the new website live and in front of your customers as quickly as possible, and that’s completely understandable…
But hold fire!
Before you even get started with the development of your new website, you really need to make sure that everything is going to run smoothly from an SEO point of view! After all, you don’t want to proudly launch a brand new website, only to lose all of your rankings, traffic and revenue that it generates, do you?
We have had to inherit and rebuild the SEO of so many websites that were pushed live without a Technical SEO Audit and it’s actually scary to see what happened to them. For example, take a look at the following Google Analytics graph, showing daily users.
So, today, we’re going to look at why you need to carry out a Technical SEO Audit before you relaunch your website. Something many agencies seem to take for granted or simply don’t have the experience or skill set to protect their customer’s SEO equity
What Is A Technical SEO Audit?
A Technical SEO Audit is a deep analysis of your website, lifting up the hood and diving straight into the engine that powers the site. The SEO expert that carries out a Technical SEO Audit will be analysing each and every aspect of your website with a multitude of tools.
They will review your website against best practice guidelines for all on page aspects of SEO, such as Page Titles, Canonical Tags and Page Speed. On top of this, they should review the website from a structural perspective, in order to ensure that the website is as strong as it could be.
Finally, the Technical SEO Audit should also look at the historical performance and issues of the website, to see whether there are any dormant problems that need to be addressed.
This information and audit will then create a plan of action for your website developers, allowing them to make sure that these issues are fixed as part of a site build. Therefore, you will be able to hit the ground running when your new website gets launched!
Why Do I Need A Technical SEO Audit?
So we have briefly covered what a Technical SEO Audit actually is, but you are probably still wondering why you would even need one. After all, your website has been running really well for years, generating revenue consistently each month, right?
Well, you would be surprised what could be hiding away, just waiting to be found as soon as you submit a new sitemap and announce to Google you have a shiny new website!
Legacy SEO Issues
One aspect of a Technical SEO Audit that is incredibly important is the analysis of the potential legacy issues, as these can often remain hidden and unnoticed for a great length of time. However, if they are not discovered, they can be migrated over to a new website during development.
This typically happens because the developers working on a website are not made aware of the issues in the first place.
The reason that this is such a potentially large issue is that your website may have been running well in the past as Google’s crawl budget for your site meant that they were not finding these issues. However, when you launch a brand new website, Google will attempt to crawl that website as quickly and deeply as possible.
At this time, they will likely find these issues or, if they have given you a soft penalty beforehand, see that the issues have not been addressed. At that point, you would almost certainly be given a full algorithmic penalty. This will lead to a significant drop in rankings, as well as a loss of visitors and conversions.
When Should I Carry Out A Technical SEO Audit?
Okay, so we have discussed exactly why you need to have a technical SEO audit carried out, but the next question is about when it should be done. The answer, however, is very simple.
You should always get a technical SEO audit carried out before any development or wireframing takes place. It should be the very first thing that is tackled as part of any new website build. The reason for this is that the audit will help to define the development work required for the new website.
By carrying out the audit at the very beginning, the findings can be planned into the development itinerary, allowing the developers to schedule all aspects of the website build correctly.
However, if you were to carry out the technical SEO audit part way through development, then any issues found would need to be forced into the development timeframe. This can both cause delays and difficulties for the developers, as they may need to re-develop parts of the website.
How Do I Find Someone To Do A Technical SEO Audit?
Now that you know both why and when you should get a technical SEO audit done as part of a website build, the next step is to talk about finding someone to carry it out.
There is a tonne of people out there who will claim to offer technical SEO audits. However, it is important to note that quality is a huge aspect of these audits. You need to know that the audit will cover everything that it needs to, as well as detail fixes in a way that developers can understand and implement.
That’s why it is generally better to have these audits carried out by a team who work closely with developers, such as an integrated agency.
At Brave, we take these audits incredibly seriously, ensuring that we cover all aspects of a website in order to allow you to really hit the ground running! If you want to know more information about how we can work with you to protect and promote your new website build, then why not get in touch today?